Eric Kuhne spends his life designing some of the world's most extraordinary buildings.
The Texan architect appointed to bring the tallest structure outside of London to Birmingham has strong views about making skyscrapers reflect the spirit and traditions of surrounding communities.
Last year he drew up plans for a 1,001-metre skyscraper for the Kuwait government, which was dubbed the "Arabian Nights" building. He is also working on the Dubai National Finance Centre, a 20 million square foot tower block that will include 13 Arabic gardens and a shopping centre half a mile in length.
He has a record of taking inspiration from local sources for design features.
The Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, also designed by Mr Kuhne, has "oast houses" on the roof to provide ventilation.
However, Mr Kuhne provoked strong opposition in Jersey where his designs for three towers on the St Helier waterfront were based on the shape of sailing ships.
The ground floor of the Birmingham Arena Central tower will consist of a huge public area with bars, cafes and restaurants, imitating the Rockefeller Centre in New York.
At between 45 and 50 storeys, the tower is expected to house up to 500 luxury flats and could include a hotel. Mr Kuhne said: "We want to make sure that the skyline silhouette around the tower is an exceptionally crisp design that even a child could draw. It will have its own iconic identity.
"The ground floor will be one of the most important public spaces and we are working with Miller to make sure is creates a new cafe society in Birmingham.
"It will challenge the entire housing market with new opportunities for quality living that will be a huge boost to Birmingham's policy of trying to get more people to live in the city centre.
"The facade will create an impression of elegance and sleekness. It is one of the best things we have ever done and I think people are going to be very pleased."
Mr Kuhne explained the thinking behind his design proposals to the Urban Land Institute Europe's Cinderella Cities conference in Birmingham yesterday.
"The scale of buildings being contemplated today are monumental. The challenge is to figure out how we can restore the lyrical quality and create towers that capture the spirit of what the community is about," he said.
Mr Kuhne was scathing about modernism, which he said had delivered soulless granite plazas with "goldfish bowl lobbies" patrolled by security staff where ordinary citizens were not welcome.
"Western capitalism has an awful job of creating great cities," he said.
Public access to towers, in the form of viewing platforms or hotel-style ground floors, was a vital ingredient if a city's soul was not to be destroyed.
Mr Kuhne told the conference: "Towers trigger our imagination better than any other form of architecture."